section 599(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section allows a court to order a trial to be held in a different division within the same province if it is deemed necessary for the ends of justice or if a competent authority has directed a jury not to be summoned in the original division.

SECTION WORDING

599(1) A court before which an accused is or may be indicted, at any term or sittings thereof, or a judge who may hold or sit in that court, may at any time before or after an indictment is found, on the application of the prosecutor or the accused, order the trial to be held in a territorial division in the same province other than that in which the offence would otherwise be tried if (a) it appears expedient to the ends of justice; or (b) a competent authority has directed that a jury is not to be summoned at the time appointed in a territorial division where the trial would otherwise by law be held.

EXPLANATION

Section 599(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada allows for a court or judge to order a trial to be held in a different territorial division within the same province if it is deemed expedient to the ends of justice, or if a competent authority has directed that a jury is not to be summoned in the division where the trial would otherwise be held. This provision is designed to promote fairness and justice in criminal proceedings, by allowing for trials to be held in a location that is more convenient or impartial for the parties involved. For example, if there are concerns about bias or prejudice in a particular community where the crime allegedly occurred, a trial could be moved to a different location to ensure a fair and impartial hearing. Additionally, if there are logistical or administrative issues that prevent a trial from proceeding in a particular division, such as a lack of available jurors or facilities, this provision allows for the trial to be held elsewhere. Overall, section 599(1) provides flexibility in the administration of justice in Canada, allowing for trials to be conducted in a way that promotes fairness, efficiency, and access to justice. As with all provisions of the Criminal Code, it is intended to ensure that criminal proceedings are conducted in a manner that upholds the rule of law and protects the rights of all involved parties.

COMMENTARY

Section 599(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that allows a court to order that a trial be held in a territorial division other than the one where the offence was committed. This provision is important because it ensures that the trial can be conducted in the most expedient and just manner possible. The provision allows for an application to be made either by the prosecutor or the accused to hold the trial in a different territorial division. This is beneficial because it allows for greater flexibility in the justice system. For example, if the accused lives far away from the territorial division where the offence was committed, it may be more convenient for them to have the trial held in a different territorial division. Similarly, if there is concern that a fair trial cannot be held in the territorial division where the offence was committed due to media attention or other factors, then the provision allows for the trial to be held elsewhere. The provision also allows for a competent authority to direct that a jury not be summoned in a territorial division where the trial would otherwise take place. This provision is important because it ensures that the trial can be conducted fairly and without bias. If there are concerns about the impartiality of a jury in a particular territorial division, this provision allows for an alternative arrangement to be made. The provision also ensures that the interests of justice are met. The ability to hold a trial in a different territorial division allows for the court to ensure that the trial can be conducted fairly and efficiently. This is important because justice delayed is justice denied. If the trial cannot be conducted efficiently in a particular territorial division, it may not be possible to ensure that justice is served. In conclusion, Section 599(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that allows for greater flexibility in the justice system. It allows for trials to be held in different territorial divisions if it is expedient to the ends of justice, or if a competent authority directs that a jury not be summoned in a particular territorial division. Overall, this provision ensures that justice can be served in the most efficient and fair manner possible.

STRATEGY

Section 599(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides the option of having a trial held in a different territorial division in the same province, when it is deemed expedient to the ends of justice or when a competent authority has directed that a jury is not to be summoned in the original location. This provision can be of great value to the accused or the prosecutor in certain scenarios, particularly when one of the parties may anticipate bias or undue influence in the original location, or when practical considerations make it difficult or impossible to conduct the trial in the original location. There are several strategic considerations that parties on both sides of the case should bear in mind when contemplating the use of section 599(1). Firstly, it is important to carefully evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks of moving the trial to a different location. On the one hand, the move can help to mitigate potential prejudice or bias against the accused or prosecutor that may exist in the original location, such as community attitudes or prior high-profile cases. Additionally, it may be impractical or difficult to conduct the trial in the original location for reasons such as lack of sufficient court resources or difficulty accommodating travel or scheduling for key stakeholders such as witnesses or jurors. On the other hand, moving the trial may come with its own set of challenges, such as increased costs for travel and accommodations, logistical difficulties, and potential unfamiliarity with local court processes and procedures. It is important to weigh these factors and determine whether the move is truly in the best interests of the party invoking section 599(1). Secondly, parties should carefully evaluate the potential new location and ensure that it is suitable for the trial. This may involve considerations such as the availability of adequate courtroom facilities, accommodation and travel options for stakeholders, and the reliability and composition of potential jurors. Some locations may be more favorable than others, especially if the trial is high-profile or controversial. In such cases, parties should carefully consider whether the proposed new location is sufficiently impartial and fair to ensure a just outcome. Thirdly, parties may also want to consider the use of persuasive communication in order to argue for the relocation or against it. For example, if the prosecutor is invoking section 599(1) because they anticipate bias against them in the original location, they may seek to highlight past cases or community attitudes that could undermine their case in that location. They may also seek to demonstrate the advantages of the proposed new location, such as better court facilities or a more impartial jury pool. On the other hand, the accused may argue against the move by highlighting the inconvenience and costs associated with a relocation, or by showing that the proposed new location is equally or more biased than the original. Ultimately, section 599(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an important tool for parties seeking to ensure a fair and just trial. However, its strategic use requires careful consideration of a range of factors and a clear understanding of the potential benefits and drawbacks. By carefully evaluating the location options, making persuasive and well-supported arguments, and engaging in effective communication strategies, parties can help ensure the best possible outcome for their case.